OPINION   
Editor's Note
Helping each other
As I write this, several leaders of the community are preparing for their first-ever consultation with officers of the Consulate under the leadership of Consul General Bernie Catalla.

We welcome this offer of dialogue, and see it as a first step towards building a more harmonious relationship between the Consulate and the community at large. Details...

Anak Araw
Malaking sayang
Pagkatapos ng mahahabang pila noong Marso sa Konsulado ng maraming OFW na gustong makauwi upang makita ang pagtatapos ng kanilang anak o mag-Holy Week, humahaba na naman ang pila para sa overseas employment certificate (OEC).

Kung ang dahilan sa bagal ng usad ng mga pila noong Marso ay kakapusan ng lugar at tauhan upang mas mapadali ang pag-process ng OEC application, ganoon pa rin ang dahilan.

Malapit na ang Kapaskuhan. Pahirapan pa rin kaya ang Pagkuha ng OEC sa POLO? Details...

Migrant's Forum
Kumikita ka ba? O ikaw ang pinagkakakitaan?
Kawalan ng trabaho. Mababang suweldo. Walang lupang masaka. Walang tulong para sa mga kasangkapan sa pagsasaka. Mababang benta ng mga ani. Walang libreng edukasyon. Walang libreng ospital, doktor at gamot. Walang libreng pampublikong pabahay. Walang sariling bahay. Walang pang-upa sa bahay. Mataas na singil sa kuryente, tubog at pamasahe. Mahal na presyo ng pagkain. Details...

Know Your Rights
The need to legislate human trafficking in HK
The absence of anti-trafficking law in Hong Kong victimizes more the migrant workers in many different ways than we realize. Trafficking in persons does not only happen to women for sex, but to anyone, and not just for sex. In Hong Kong, the problem often occurs among women who are exploited for labor. Details...

BUHAY PINAY   
Bawian
Dating magkaibigan sina Lucy at Lanie.
See this month's stories...

NEWS FROM HOME   
Shopping malls eyed for `16 polls
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is mulling the idea of putting up voting precincts in shopping malls in 2016 to "enhance the voting experience and to speed up the voting process" for voters.
See this month's stories...

COMMUNITY   
Card-MRI, nagsagawa muli ng pagsasanay pinansyal
Bakit gusto mong magnegosyo? Nasa iyo ba ang mga katangiang kailangan para umasenso sa negosyo?

Ito ay kabilang sa mga katanungan na binigyan ng tugon sa isa na namang talakayang pangkabuhayan na isinagawa ng CARD-MRI Hong Kong Foundation noong Hulyo 12 sa Bayanihan Centre sa Kennedy Town.
See this month's stories...

SPORTS   
Filipinos win big in Dragon Boat races
Filipino paddlers have collected one gold and three bronze trophies in this year's Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Carnival held on the Tsimshatsui side of Victoria Harbour between Jul 3-5.
See this month's stories...

PINOY JOKES   
Netware

See this month's stories...

Chinese Horoscope   
Ano ang hatid ng Hulyo sa iyo

See this month's stories...

Your Daily News   
  GMANews
  Phil. Daily Inquirer
  Manila Times

  May 2013 Hong Kong News   
Filipina appeals removal order to be with resident kid
A Filipina fighting to remain in Hong Kong to be with her underage daughter who holds permanent resident status here has elevated her battle to the Court of Appeal.

Milagros Tecson Comilang, a former domestic helper, has appealed a decision of the Court of First Instance rejecting her challenge to the Director of Immigration's repeated refusal to extend her permission to stay in the territory.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment after hearing arguments on Apr. 16.

The lower court ruling, which was handed down in June last year, also denied Comilang's petition for a judicial review of the Commissioner of Registration's rejection of her application for a Hong Kong permanent identity card.

The outcome of the case could have serious implications for all Filipino children who have been granted right of abode, but whose parents do not share this status. Such is the case of about two dozen children of Filipino domestic workers who were granted permanent residency about three to four years ago.

At the appeal hearing, Comilang's counsel, Gladys Li, SC, described the legal proceeding before Justices Peter Cheung, Frank Stock and Joseph Paul Fok as a special case involving a child who is underage, a minority and who requires the constant presence of a parent.

Comilang first came to the city in 1997. Shortly after her last contract was terminated on July 13, 2005, she underwent an Islamic marriage with a certain Shaker Ahmed, a Hong Kong permanent resident. She subsequently applied for a change of her immigration status to remain in the city as a dependant of her husband.

Pending the processing of her application, the Director of Immigration did not extend Comilang's permission to stay, which expired on Oct. 10, 2005.

Then, in February 2006, the already overstaying Comilang gave birth to Zahrah Ahmed, who acquired permanent resident status through her father and by virtue of her being born in Hong Kong.

Ahmed, the husband, was subsequently discovered to be in a subsisting marriage at the time he married Comilang. He later withdrew his sponsorship of the Filipina's change of status application.

Since then, Comilang has resisted several orders for her leave so she could stay with her daughter, whom she wants to remain in the territory to enjoy her rights as a permanent resident. The child is a co-applicant in the case.

While recognizing the state's right to control who stays in Hong Kong, Li argued that the immigration department should allow a custodial parent the right to stay in the interest of the child.

The Court, warned Li, should consider the impact of their decision because, in compelling Comilang to leave, the child essentially loses her right of abode.

Li also questioned the fairness of allowing unmarried children below 18 years of age to be dependants of parents, and yet denying the same right to a resident child and her parent.

On the other hand, Anderson Shek, counsel for the Director of Immigration, wanted the Court to clarify what a child's right of abode entailed.

"To what extent can (the child's right of abode) be relied upon (by) the mother (who has) no right of abode?" asked Shek.

Foreign nationals are allowed to sponsor their relatives as dependants. In exceptional cases, the Director of Immigration also has the discretion to allow other foreign nationals to stay in Hong Kong on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

However, in the appealed 50-page judgment, Presiding Justice Johnson Lam had stated that the courts will not lightly interfere with the Director's exercise of discretion and that "humanitarian considerations are not reviewable in courts" (Lau Kong Yung vs Director Immigration [1999]).

Judge Lam also ruled that it was not necessary for the court to come to any conclusion on the impact of the refusal of Tecson's extension of stay on the future of Zahrah Ahmed.

He further rejected the argument that Comilang needed to leave Hong Kong with her daughter, simply because she had custody of the child.

"The Family Court has jurisdiction to reconsider the question of custody when (Comilang) has to leave Hong Kong. One option is to grant custody to the father. Another option is to grant leave to relocation. It is entirely a matter for the Family Court to decide in view of the prevailing circumstances and the best interest of the child," said Justice Lam.


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